some fall in love. i shatter.

Needle In The Hay (#12)

In Uncategorized on May 21, 2012 at 8:15 am

“What about Dylan?”

“No, I don’t want to associate myself with Bob Dylan.”

“It’s a good name, though.”


“Okay… how about Cohen?”

“We’re not Jewish”

“It’s just a name.  Anyway, the point of this whole thing is reinvention.  What better way to reinvent yourself?”

“Why Cohen?”

“It’s a good name, a strong name; there are a lot of famous Cohens.”

“Give me three.”

“Leonard Cohen.  Adam Cohen.”

“Who’s Adam Cohen?”

“… Is he an actor?”

“You don’t even know who he is?  You’re making up names.”

“No, he’s real, I think he’s an actor.  Maybe a director.”

“If you ca-”

“Sacha Baron Cohen!”

“Okay, that’s two.”

“Fine, forget Cohen, but I’m the only one coming up with names here.”

“Because, Alex, it’s your weird idea for us to both change our last names.  If you want it to go anywhere, you need to wow me.”

“Well, I’ve got a whole list here.”


“Is that a contender – cause I had it.  Crossed it out, though.  Okay, next is Liebowitz.”

“Cross off every Jewish name unless you have a very compelling reason.  I am not taking a new name that firmly identifies with a faith that I am not a part of.  It’s stupid.”

“So then we go from twenty to fourteen, including Dylan.”

“You’re so weird.”




“Like Lewis Carroll?  The child molester?”

“He wasn’t a child molester.”

“Are you sure?  I’m calling no just in case he was.”

“That’s unreasonable.”

“So was Liebowitz.  Keep going.”

“How about White?”

“Too bland.”

“There’s a simplicity to it.”

“It’s common and it’s bland.”

“Then what do you think about Black?”

“Black’s a little more striking… but too negative.”

“You’re just gonna fall prey to good-and-evil, black-and-white stereotypes?”

“Yes I am, because even if I don’t, others will.”

“But it’s so commanding.  Black!”

“You’ve got a point but it’s still too plain.  It’s just a color.  Don’t you have anything more abstract?”

“Why would you want abstract?  This is an opportunity to impart meaning to our names.”

“That only ever mattered when a name was tied to a profession.”

“Which brings me to Tender.”

“As in bar-”

“Tender?  Yes.”

“No, that sounds weird and you’re not going to be a bartender forever, so it’ll be pointless in a year.”


“Really?  You extrapolate ‘Inba’ from investment banker?  Did you come up with these while tending bar, cause I think you may have had a contact buzz.  And why wouldn’t you just suggest Banks?  That’s at least a normal last name.”

“And it’s the next name on the list.”

“And it’s the next name off the list.”

“But you just said – ”

“I said it was normal – didn’t say I liked it.”

“Okay.  What about O’Toole?”

“Neither of us are Irish, Alex!”

“Does that really matter?

“To me it does – same parameters as the Jewish names.”

“What do you think about Merritt?”

“Where are you getting Merritt from?”

“I think it’s the name of the ship that did battle with the Monitor, back in the Civil War.  The Merritt vs the Monitor.”

“Didn’t the Merritt lose?  And wasn’t it the Confederate ship?”

“I think so.”

“Then no.”

“Was it a yes otherwise?”


“Okay then, I think you’ll like the next one.  Eagleton.”

“A little bombastic but the best one you’ve tried so far.”

“How so?”

“I don’t know… a sense of gravitas, a sense of strength, not disingenuously ethnic.  Oscar Eagleton… Alex Eagleton.  It might be too much – it sounds like we should be patriotic superheroes.  I don’t know that I could live up to being Oscar Eagleton.”

“Then let’s hold onto that one and see if anything else grabs you.  How about Fink?”

“I don’t like it.”

“Yeah, I didn’t love it either.  What about Harkins?”

“That’s a dumb sounding name, where did that come from?

“Guy I met at the bar – just sorta stood out.”

“No go.”


“Again, where did that name come from, and again, enough with the ethnic names.  Was that twenty; are we done?”

“One more.  Johnson.”

“Classic.  Simple.  No.”

“Back to Eagleton.”

“Eagleton’s out.  I don’t like it enough to change my name.”

“So we’re just going to be a married couple with two last names because you won’t take mine and you won’t agree to a party-neutral third name?”

“Yeah, and I’m okay with that.  I like being Oscar Swanson, I was never partial to your idea of a new name for the both of us, and I’m sorry but I can’t take your last name.”

“It doesn’t sound that bad.”

“I refuse to become Oscar Meyar.  Why don’t you take Swanson as your name?”

“Let’s just stick with what we have.  But if we have kids, you’re coming up with a solution.”




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